Community Programs

Community Garden:
Adopt-a-Plot

May 18 Kickoff Event

Kickoff Event
Saturday, May 18th
1:00pm – 3:00pm

“Adopt” a plot in our community garden for the growing season (May-November)! Our community garden provides a shared space in which local residents can  tend a plot of land, learn together, and share in an appreciation of the outdoors and gardening.

Each garden plot is located within a fenced-in area near the Herb Garden and all participants will have access to tools, watering facilities, and community guidance. The perfect opportunity for novices and experienced gardeners, alike!

At the end of the season, gardeners are invited to a celebration Pot-Luck dinner (date is TBD) where all are encouraged to share a dish comprised of the produce grown throughout the year.

We hope you will become a part of our family of community gardeners!

Spaces are limited & advanced registration required so register early!

Registration Deadline:
4pm on Thursday, May 16th   

4×4 garden plot: $50
4×8 garden plot: $75
Long side garden plot: $100

Connecticut Trails
Day Weekend

June 1

Saturday, June 1st – How to Create & Foster an Ecological Garden has been canceled. Please join us for a Nature Walk at 11:00am. 
10:00am – 12:00pm

Join us as we celebrate Connecticut Trails Day here at the New Canaan Nature Center!

“How to Create & Foster an Ecological Garden”
10am in the Sturgess Room

Native plants provide your yard with year-round beauty while providing essential habitats and food sources for ever-increasingly threatened wildlife. Micah Slavkin, of Symbiotic Ecological Design, will discuss what makes a plant “native”, why you should consider incorporating them into your garden, and which native plants are best suited for the home landscape.

Symbiotic Ecological Design is a sustainable landscape design firm focused on creating year-round beauty while fostering a connection with nature and providing essential habitats and food sources for ever-increasingly threatened wildlife. Micah Slavkin holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from RISD (Rhode Island School of Design).

Nature Walk
11am behind the Visitor Center

Join the NCNC Naturalists for a discovery Nature Walk of the nature center property. What late spring finds will you discover? Join us to find out!

All Connecticut Trails Day programs are FREE and open to the public.

Email our Education Programs Manager at agordon@newcanaannature.org to RSVP today!

Great American
Campout

June 22-23

Saturday, June 22nd – Sunday, June 23rd
3:30pm – 9:30am

Join us for an evening full of fun and adventure by camping out in New Canaan’s favorite backyard!

Participants are welcome to set-up their tents in the afternoon between 3:30-5:30pm. From 5:30-7:30pm, we’ll provide a classic camping-style barbecue dinner of hot dogs, grilled corn & chips (with watermelon for dessert). Lemonade and water will be available for all ages; adults are welcome to BYOB. As folks are finishing up the tasty treats from the grill, all are invited to enjoy field games, music and all around fun on the Green!

As the sun begins to set, get ready for the night time adventure to begin. We’ll fire up the campfire ring and head off into the darkness for a special early summer night hike experience. Upon our return we’ll be sure to fill our bellies with some fireside S’mores before dozing off to sleep.

In the morning, awake to fog over the meadow, deer browsing nearby and the promise of another magical day! A light breakfast of bagels, juice, and coffee will also be served.

Just bring your own tents, camp gear, and snacks, we’ll provide the rest! Access to bathrooms will be available through the night.

Spaces are limited & advanced registration required so register early!

Registration Deadline:
12pm on Thursday, June 20th

Members: $85/family
Non-Members: $110/family

Tent Rental: $25/tent
(Please note: NCNC has only a limited number of tents available for rent. If interested, please email our Education Programs Manager at agordon@newcanaannature.org.)

Night of 1,000 Fireflies:
A Night Hike

July 13

Saturday, July 13th
8:00pm – 9:30pm

Come and enjoy the magic of the midsummer night at the Nature Center. Join our Naturalists as we search for woodland creatures (wiggly worms & aquatic amphibians) and other enchanted mysteries of the evening, before delighting in the awe-inspiring beauty of our meadows aglow with the soft light of 1,000+ fireflies!

Registration Deadline:
4pm on Thursday, July 11th

*This event has sold out in the past, so be sure to register early!*

Members: $10/person
Non-Members: $15/person

Creatures of the Night…
Hike!

August 10

Saturday, August 10th
7:30pm – 9:00pm

How do your nighttime senses compare to those of the nocturnal animals that call NCNC home? Join us for an interactive sensory night hike adventure and try your hand at our naturalist-led challenges to find out! First, we’ll put your night vision to the test to discover if you can see as well as an owl in the dark. Then we’ll focus on your sense of smell, hearing, and touch! We’ll wrap up the night with one of our favorite summer activities… roasting marshmallows around the campfire!

Program will also include the opportunity to meet a couple of the nature center’s nocturnal animal ambassadors up close and personal.

Registration Deadline:
4pm on Thursday, August 8th

Members: $10/person
Non-Members: $15/person

Cider
Saturday

September 14

Saturday, September 14th
11:00am – 3:00pm

Celebrate the fall cider season here at NCNC! Come and enjoy an early autumn afternoon of family fun with cider press demonstrations, old-fashioned games, a pumpkin scavenger hunt, seasonal harvest crafts for kids, baked apples, and corn bread on a stick. Fill your bellies with delicious corn dogs, grilled corn, fresh cider, and baked goodies, all available for purchase.

Halloween
Spooktacular

October 25

Friday, October 25th
6:30pm – 8:30pm

Get into the Halloween spirit by joining us for this spooktacular celebration, NCNC-style. We’ll learn about and meet some creepy critters who remind us of All Hallows Eve (spiders, bats, snakes, & more), before getting the chance to make our very own slime. We’ll wrap up the evening by enjoying a spooky & interactive Halloween story and a one-of-a-kind jack-o-lantern experience.

Awesome
Autumn Day

November 5

Tuesday, November 5th
1:00pm – 3:00pm

Vote for Nature on Election Day! Come on over to NCNC to enjoy a beautiful autumn day with your kids and the NCNC naturalists. Frolic in the leaves and take part in field games, such as pumpkin ring toss, corn hole, and parachute games, anytime from 1-3pm. Naturalists will also be leading autumn-themed relay races across the Green!

Thanksgiving
Weekend Waddle

November 30

Saturday, November 30th
Trail Treks at 10am & 11am

Grab the entire family (and any lingering holiday visitors too!) and head on down to the New Canaan Nature Center! Join the NCNC Naturalists for a healthy, invigorating Trail Trek to work off that holiday meal. As an extra Thanksgiving bonus, after our hike, you’ll also get to enjoy a FREE behind the scenes tour of our Animal Care facilities & Birds of Prey Exhibit – our way of saying “thank you” to the community.

Winter
Wonderland

December 14

Saturday, December 14th
11:00am – 2:00pm

Come and be transported into a whole new world as the New Canaan Nature Center transforms into a Winter Wonderland filled with fun and exciting winter holiday activities for the entire family. We hope you will join us to enjoy the warm festive feel the Nature Center puts on this time of year!

Holiday
Break Programs

December 2019

Come on down the hill and join other enthusiastic kids as our expert staff lead a variety of wintry adventures throughout our 40-acre preserve and celebrate the holiday season in true NCNC fashion as nature intended.

Owl Moon
Night Hike

 January 2020

Let the light of the FULL moon be your guide as we explore magic in the woods and unravel the mysteries of our nocturnal neighbors, the owls. We’ll discover how owls use their keen senses to navigate the night and learn first-hand how they can hunt in the dark. We’ll even “give a hoot” and see if we can identify owls by their tell-tale calls, before getting to meet a couple owls up close & personal.

Adopt-a-Tree:
Community Syruping Program

January 2020

Adopt a maple tree for the season! Learn about and participate weekly in the entire syrup making process, from tapping a maple tree to sap collections and boil downs. You’ll even get your very own bottle of NCNC-made maple syrup at our end of season pot-luck dinner in March.

Participants will collect sap 1-3 times a week (depending on sap flow conditions) for the entire syrup season (typically 4-6 weeks) and take part in boil downs where REAL maple syrup is made right here at NCNC.

Winter
Break Programs

February 2020

Out of school and looking for some wintry fun in the great outdoors? Come down the hill and join other enthusiastic kids as our expert staff lead a variety of winter-themed adventures throughout the 40-acre expanse of NCNC. Partake in nature games, crafts & activities!

Syrup Saturday:
A Pancakes & PJ’s Party

March 2020

Bring the whole family and join us for our annual end of syrup season celebration – you won’t want to miss our famously delicious Pancakes & PJ’s party, complete with TONS of fun syrup-related activities! We’ll be serving up flapjacks, syrup, and an array of tasty toppings in the Visitor Center, while leading tree tapping demos, a real maple sap “boil down,” campfire with marshmallows, and a real v. fake syrup taste test.

All are welcome and encouraged to dress in their PJ’s!

Spring Fling
Break Programs

April 2020

Out of school and looking for some spring fun and adventure? Come on down the hill and join other enthusiastic kids as our expert staff guide you on a variety of seasonal adventures throughout the 40-acres of forests, fields, and ponds at NCNC. Partake in nature games, crafts & activities!

The Great Egg Hunt &
Spring Celebration

April 2020

Perfect for children, ages 2-10, our egg hunts are designed for smaller groups (approximately 25 per hunt) and, in addition to the hunt, include an egg & spoon obstacle course and meet & greet with our baby chicks & bunny rabbits. Just BYOB (bring your own basket) for collecting eggs (which contain nature-themed prizes and nut-free sweets).

Sounds of Spring
Night Hike

April 2020

Come explore the magic of spring and Earth Week with us! We’ll visit the Nature Center’s vernal pools and ponds to listen for the peeps and croaks of frogs and other amphibians that let us know spring has fully arrived! We’ll also journey through the woods and into the meadows in search of some awesome invertebrates, birds, and bats. If we’re super lucky, we might even get a chance to spot a critter or two! Join our Naturalists for this fun, interactive and earth aware hike to learn why these species are so important to our local ecosystem.

Earth Day
Celebration

April 22

Come celebrate Earth Day with us on April 22nd! An annual world-wide event, join us to learn what you can do locally to help protect the environment.